Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Art of SurvivalFrance and the Great War Picaresque$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Libby Murphy

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780300217513

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300217513.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM YALE SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.yale.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Yale University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in YSO for personal use.date: 24 September 2021

Le Cafard

Le Cafard

Brutalization, Alienation, and Despair

Chapter:
(p.163) 7. Le Cafard
Source:
The Art of Survival
Author(s):

Libby Murphy

Publisher:
Yale University Press
DOI:10.12987/yale/9780300217513.003.0008

This chapter examines literary and cartoon picaros who succumb to the new wartime phenomenon of le cafard, or trench depression. The much darker and more pessimistic works studied in this chapter move away from the comic picaresque to the cynically satirical picaresque. The chapter begins with a discussion of an important French graphic artist and illustrator whose wartime work is only now being rediscovered. Gus Bofa explored the limits of picaresque moral and physical resiliency, countering Poulbot’s sentimental, nationalistic visual idiom through his uniquely satirical and universalist one. Meanwhile Léon Werth’s novel Clavel soldat (1919) anticipates by more than a decade key themes in Remarque’s All Quiet on the Western Front (1929) and Céline’s Voyage au bout de la nuit (1932), providing a glimpse into the psychological dark side of the picaresque. The chapter explores the alienation and cynicism the poilu-picaro experiences when his rebellious wit turns to black bile, and the unified self required for a full deployment of Le Système Dhas come undone. It reminds us that at its darkest, the picaresque tale has always been one of character deformation.

Keywords:   le cafard, trench depression, existential nausea, Gus Bofa, Léon Werth, Clavel soldat, Céline, Voyage au bout de la nuit, 1930s, Second World War/Occupation

Yale Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.